tax time

I did my taxes last night.  I always had my father's accountant do them in the past, so this was my first time.  It took about an hour and a half.  I learned some things:

(1) The capital gains tax sucks.
(2) My federal withholding is set way too high.
(3) You have to pay income tax on jury duty compensation.  (I did two days at US$10/day.)
(4) My student loan interest will never be useful in lowering the taxes I pay.  (I went to a
state school.)

In the end, assuming I did it right, I am getting about US$375.00 back, which is good.
Taxes are like homework the government gives you. 

Comments (15)

  1. Phil Weber says:

    If you’re only getting $375 back, it doesn’t sound like your withholding is too high. If you reduce your withholding, you’ll likely owe money next year (assuming your income and deductions are about the same).

  2. jeffdav says:

    Well, the capital gains taxes made the refund much smaller. Since I do not plan on liquidating any more stock for a while (I have paid off all my credit card debt now), it is set too high. This year it was set just right.

  3. Julie Lerman says:

    if you don’t like the capital gains tax – be careful that next time you sell your house, you don’t make a $1/2 million profit 🙂

  4. jeffdav says:

    Now I just need to get a house!

  5. Good thing there is not a tax on procrastination! 🙂

  6. One other comment – capital gains tax (long term gains – namely an investment you’ve held 2+ years) is pretty low compared to income tax. I don’t recall the precise percentages, but it can be over 15% difference, IIRC, depending on your salary. The point is, it would be much, much better tax-wise to have your yearly income be 100% from long term capital gains than from salary. Either way, though, all taxes suck and are too high.

  7. Peter Torr says:

    Ah yes, "taxes in America are too high." The rest of the world *loves* to hear you guys say that 😉

    But then we get to go to our free schools, receive our free healthcare, have a reasonable social security system, etc. and it all seems worth it.

  8. jeffdav says:

    This conversation is becoming dangerously political. This is supposed to be a technical blog with occasional filler about my consumtion of pop culture!

    Yes, we have lower tax rates then many places. However:

    (1) I recently got a letter from social security informing me that if I work until I am 70 (!) I will get about 1/4th my current monthly salary in benefits. I think I could do better then that. I think if I could just save the money I put into social security in my basic savings account I could do better. Especially when there is a foot note explaining that by 2040 they will only be able to pay 70% of the benefits unless congress gets them more money somehow.

    (2) The federal taxes that I do pay, which are significant if not necessarily exorbitant, go to pay for things that I really would rather they did not. And I think there are those in "the rest of the world" who would agree with that sentiment.

    So, in summary, I am saddened to part with the large chunk of my salary currently being spent, in my opinion, badly.

  9. TDavid says:

    Will trade you tax bills Jeff, we have to pay in over seven grand, not counting property taxes and the first quarter tax bill 😉

  10. jeffdav says:

    Heh, I also know others in the US have it worse then me. I cannot complain too much. I do not own any property worth enough for them to tax it. One of these days I need to buy a house…

  11. I wan to tell you about my w2 2004 I don’t know what happens because almost three mounth I waiting my refund 2004 I don’t know what reaction I want to make for this reaction because he make me very mad and sick and stomach and headach.If Ins don’t what to sand me little money I need my fifty dollard back if possible I never doing tax bad in my life They want to tell me why are late like that I never fill happy for the reaction they have no letter to tell me to say ypur was like this.if they work like that in not good job.job is to make people happy and eplain people what happend?the place I change tax adress are My national tax and accounting service

    7402 new hampshier avenue

    takoma park,md 20912.

    I need realy help me as soon possible because I never seen tax like that almost three mounth waitting refund I never receive I don’t know what happen they must to tell me if I have problem fot the tax just stay home waitting I never receive.if the people work In Ins if they are children they mad like how they fill.I never fill happy for the Ins do for me about my W2 tax return.I pay alot money I was thinking I want to get enough money but I never get?that’s american?my email adress are and my telephone are 240-423-7028.if you have any question you can call me I can explain if is two dollard I need I work for that?I can’t call all time In Ins to ask what happen to my W2 they must to know I need if they don’t to sand me My refund I need my money back as soon possible I paying alot money but I never get enough that ok is not good person for who made my W2.I have all approve letter I have home if ou need I can show you.

    the place I change my W2 telephone are 301-439-1207and Fax are 301-439-5510 you can call them ask what happen for W2.american is not bad letter.have a nice day.they make me very stronger for w2.God bless you


    Bastin Matembera m

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